Ever had those days when you need to come up with content marketing ideas, but nothing seems to come out?
As if that’s not bad enough, your boss expects you to submit something for approval in a couple of days.
With each second that passes by, the panic and anxiety begin to rise.
Well, guess what? You’re not alone. And it’s perfectly normal for you to experience days (even weeks) like this.
According to SEMRush’s 2019 State of Content Marketing Global Report, marketers continue to struggle with creating engaging content.
Ironically, engaging and valuable content is the foundation of nearly all types of marketing strategies used today. If you can’t come up with content marketing ideas that’ll capture your audience’s attention and convince them to take action, you’ll get minimal to no success.
That’s why I’ve created this guide.
Here, you’ll learn 25 different content marketing ideas you can use for your marketing campaigns and keep the momentum going.
1. Repurpose blog posts into a SlideShare.
The easiest, but often most overlooked, content marketing idea is repurposing your existing blog posts.
Repurposing is essentially taking your existing content and then repackaging it so that you can publish it somewhere else. In this case, you’re taking the essential points of your long-form blog post, then putting them into a slide deck, and finally uploading this to LinkedIn SlideShare.
One example is this slide deck that Mark Schaeffer created by repurposing a content marketing research study he published as a blog post years ago.
2. Update your old blog posts.
If you wrote a blog post that’s doing exceptionally well, you could give this a boost by updating the data you’ve included and then republishing it. That way, you’re extending the lifetime value of your blog post. At the same time, you’re helping it rank even higher on Google.
This is one of the ways how Hubspot’s able to consistently publish long-form blog posts like this one.
The one thing to remember when publishing updated blog posts is to include a disclaimer telling your readers when the blog post was originally published.
By having this in place, visitors won’t get confused about why they’re seeing comments left by other visitors to your site months or years ago.
3. Join popular weekly hashtag themes.
Hashtags like #ThrowBackThursday and #FreebieFriday would always find a place in Twitter’s list of trending hashtags for those days. Tweeting posts using these hashtags allows you to get in front of a wider audience.
Non-profit organization WATERforLIFE, for example, managed to use the trending hashtag #FirstWorldProblems as a way to bring awareness to their cause.
They did this by tweeting videos of children and staff members living in an orphanage in Haiti to react to many of the rants and complaints tweeted using this hashtag.
Because the imagery of the videos WATERforLIFE tweets is a stark contrast to the other photos and videos tweeted using this hashtag, they stick out like a sore thumb.
At first, it looks like the videos are misplaced until you take the time to watch them.
It’s a smart and effective way of relaying the message that the problems faced by those in Haiti are those that should also concern those who are more privileged.
4. Convert your long-form blog posts into content upgrades.
Long-form content has consistently proven itself to rank higher on Google and other search engines.
The only problem is that people don’t read online content. Instead, they scan them, especially if they’re browsing online using their mobile devices.
Converting your audience with a PDF version of your blog post that they can download and print out allows them to read it at their own pace and time.
This is what I’ve done with my blog post about Influencer Marketing.
As a bonus, you can even link your content upgrade to guest posts that you submit to other sites. This helps you build your inbound links and even get some of those who read your guest blog post to subscribe to your email list.
5. Publish micro-content
Just because long-form content ranks higher on Google and other search engines doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be creating micro-content.
In fact, publishing this is the exact content marketing strategy that Gary Vaynerchuk uses for his personal brand and businesses. He calls this strategy the “Reverse Pyramid model,” which looks like this.
Just like the topic cluster model advocated by Hubspot, GaryVee’s Reverse Pyramid starts with one long-form pillar content. Once he publishes this, he then creates shorter content forms of content, he then shares them on his social media accounts.
For example, GaryVee interviewed Simon Sinek on his #AskGaryVee show:
He then took a snippet of this interview and posted it onto LinkedIn…
…and on Facebook.
6. Launch a photo contest on Instagram.
Photo contests help you create a buzz around your brand and increase engagement among your followers. Additionally, hosting photo contests is that you create a pool of user-generated content that you can then use to publish on your different social media accounts.
This will help you with your content creation and increase engagement on your posts. It’ll also increase your conversion rates since 85% of your customers are more influenced by content created by your existing customers than content that you publish.
One of the most successful Instagram photo contest was the #WhiteCupContest they rolled out back in 2014.
The mechanics of the contest was simple. Customers were asked to design the traditional white Starbucks cup used for their hot beverages and take a photo of it. The winning design will be replicated in a limited edition cup that they were planning to roll out.
The response was overwhelming. Within 3 weeks, Starbucks was able to generate about 4,000 photos of different designs from those who participated.
7. Get inspiration from trending or controversial topics.
Controversial topics are already generating a huge following. Creating a content marketing campaign related to these topics (and your brand) allows you to ride on the buzz around it.
This is precisely what Olay did with their #FaceAnything content marketing campaign.
Launched during the height of the #MeToo movement and related political events, Olay collaborated with 9 female influencers, including #MeToo movement advocate Aly Raisman, to empower women across race and cultures while addressing the overwhelming expectations women today are expected to meet.
8. Create round-up posts.
If you’re stuck in a rut, why not ask others to help you out with your content?
And by that, I don’t mean getting someone to write your posts, although that’ll also be very helpful for you and your business.
What I mean here is asking people to share their input about a particular topic that you’d like to discuss on your blog.
And if the thought of reaching out to these influencers is far-fetched, it isn’t. You’ll be surprised by how many of them would be more than happy to help you out.
9. Product comparison guides
Many of your potential customers suffer from “analysis paralysis.” This usually happens when they find themselves trying to decide what to buy out of so many different options.
Creating a product comparison guide helps your potential customers make a well-informed decision, increasing their chances to convert. This is what makes this type of content beneficial to include in the Decision stage of your marketing funnel.
Wine Folly, for example, created a scorecard for each of their Italian red wines to help their customers find the one that best suits their preference.
10. 101 guide
There are always more beginners than experts in any given field. Creating a 101 guide that teaches these beginners the fundamentals to complete a specific task.
What’s great about these 101 guides is that they’re what you’d call “evergreen content.” That simply means that the information included here stays relevant for many years.
An excellent example of this is Michael Hyatt’s blog guide on how to launch a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Even though this was initially written back in 2013, you can still follow the steps listed in this guide to set up your own self-hosted WordPress blog today.
11. Publish guest posts on your blog.
Opening your website to accept guest posts allows you to provide your audience with quality content consistently. At the same time, you’re helping other professionals like yourself by giving them a platform to promote their brand and establish themselves as experts in their niche.
The key here is to make sure you provide potential contributors a set of guidelines like in the case with Mention.
Doing this ensures that the quality of the blog posts these contributors submit matches those that you’ve previously published. It also makes sure that the topics of the guest posts they provide are those that align with the topics that you discuss.
12. Piggyback on other content ideas.
Sometimes, you don’t need to create something new to get results in your content marketing campaigns. You’ll only have to make what’s already been done better.
This is the principle behind the Skyscraper Technique. This is essentially a method of creating a more improved version of the content that’s already been published.
The key here is to find the top ranking blog post on Google for a particular keyword phrase.
Next, read through the blog post and look for areas that you can improve. Take note of these and then write your version of this content.
13. Publish user-generated content (UGC)
As I mentioned earlier, curating UGC helps you consistently publish excellent content on your website. It also doubles as social proof to help you establish your brand’s credibility and win your customers’ trust.
That’s because customers are more willing to believe recommendations coming from people (even those they don’t know) than branded content.
Airbnb, for example, dedicated an entire page on their website to publish stories of their hosts and users about their experiences using their services.
14. Feature your employees.
Your employees are the best ambassadors for your brand and business.
That’s because your customers are more willing to trust what your employees say about your brand.
Another 78% of customers say that how a company treats its employees significantly affects its trustworthiness.
So why not allow your employees to bask in the limelight now and then?
This is precisely what Hubspot did with their Hubspot Life Instagram account.
Here, one employee from each of their different offices across the world is given one week to take full control of what they’d like to publish on the account.
The result is a wonderful collage showing what life’s like as a Hubspot employee. More importantly, it gives you a better understanding of their culture, values, and principles.
Not only did this Instagram account help make its customers trust them more, but they also attracted high-performing talent to work here.
15. Produce your own reality show on Youtube
Creating a series of videos similar to a reality show gives your target audience a raw and candid glimpse behind-the-scenes of your business. At the same time, these types of videos put you in a position where you show your vulnerability to your target audience.
For many business owners, the thought of even doing this can be unnerving. Not to mention counterintuitive. After all, wouldn’t these scenarios give them a reason not to trust what you’re saying?
Quite the opposite. By showing these vulnerable moments, you’re showing your audience you genuinely understand their pains and challenges because you’ve experienced them yourself.
Take Social Media Examiner’s CEO, Michael Stelzner, for example.
In this episode of their reality show-like series on Youtube titled The Journey, you’ll see him struggling to decide on whether or not to continue doing videos on Facebook.
Guess what happened?
The majority of the people that left comments expressed their sincere appreciation that he showed this video.
The episode resonated with their audience, who were also going through the same thing he was. At the same time, seeing his struggle and hearing his decision validated for many viewers their choices for their respective marketing campaigns.
16. Shoppable posts
Streamlining your checkout process is one of the effective ways to generate more sales for your business. The fewer steps your customers have to go through, the better the chances of them completing the purchase.
If your business sells a physical product, one way to streamline the checkout process is by creating shoppable posts on Instagram.
At first glance, these posts look very much the same as any standard post on Instagram. The only difference is that these are marked by a shopping bag icon.
Another difference is what happens when your followers tap the image on their Instagram feed.
Instead of liking the post, tapping a shoppable post would display the names of the different items featured in the post and their respective prices.
When a customer clicks on one of the items displayed on the shoppable post, they’ll be directed to a separate page showing other posts featuring the same item.
If they want to buy, they can click on the View on Website button. This will take them to the page on your website where they can complete the purchase.
All this happens without them leaving the Instagram app.
17. Upload immersive video tutorials
Conventional video tutorials you find on Youtube tend to focus on answering the “What” and “How” of things.
Immersive video tutorials, on the other hand, go one step further by explaining the “Why.”
Perhaps the best example of immersive videos is the Whiteboard Friday videos uploaded by Rand Fishkin of Moz like this one below.
Notice that Rand doesn’t go immediately into page layout and format. Instead, he first talks about the reason why your web page’s layout matters. Then he goes on into the things that you’ll need to consider before you develop your actual page layout.
The detail Rand shares in this video shows he knows what he’s talking about, and understands the logic (or the why) behind the what.
18. Collaborate with micro-influencers to tell your story.
When it comes to influencer marketing, most marketers would:
- Reach out to a micro-influencer in their niche.
- Provide the micro-influencer with the details of the product or service to offer to their followers.
- Give the micro-influencer a unique link to share with their followers.
- Pay the micro-influencer a commission for every lead that converts into a customer through their unique link.
Unfortunately, the recent news about Instagram influencer Arii not being able to sell 36 shirts to her 2 million subscribers has caused marketers to new ways to collaborate with micro-influencers to generate leads and customers.
What brands found to be an effective alternative is to turn micro-influencers into their brand storytellers.
For example, Squarespace launched its #AllinOne/#MakeIt content marketing campaign to encapsulate and promote its tagline: “Dream It. Name It. Sell It. Grow It. Share It. Make it Squarespace.”
Even though these influencers weren’t directly telling people to subscribe, the stories they shared on how using SquareSpace helped them realize their dreams and make an impact gave many a reason to give them a try.
19. Publish content that’s got nothing to do with your product.
One of the common mistakes that marketers make when it comes to coming up with content marketing ideas is making these too company-centric.
While it’s understandable that you’d want to talk about your product, you also need to remember that your customers are at different stages of your buyer’s journey.
And many of them aren’t interested in your product just yet. So you’ll need to also come up with content that’s related to your business. At the same time, it should cater to your readers’ interests.
Take Massage Envy, for example. Instead of merely talking about the different massages they offer, they created a guide that explains all the various benefits of massage therapy.
20. Share personal lessons.
There are two ways of using this content marketing idea.
The first is to discuss the lessons you’ve learned from your experiences building and running a business.
Michael Hyatt is one person that does this exceptionally well. The content he shares in his weekly podcast is based on his personal experience as an entrepreneur and business leader.
At the same time, other people involved in his business to share their perspectives and feedback about the specific points that he shares here.
21. Come up with a free tool
If you’re running a B2B service-based business or SaaS business, an interactive tool like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer will make an excellent content offer or lead magnet to generate leads.
That’s because it quickly helps your visitors solve a pressing problem they have. In this case, it’s coming up with a title for their blog post or content offer that’ll capture the attention of their target audience.
At the same time, it gives your target market a glimpse into how your products or services can be a worthwhile investment to consider for their business.
22. Develop a content theme.
Sometimes marketers struggle coming up with content marketing ideas because there are so many things that they can talk about a particular topic. And with that comes even more choices on what content format to use.
By having a content theme for specific days of the week, you narrow down your focus on what to share with your readers.
Author James Clear, for example, sends out a weekly newsletter to his email list that he called the “3-2-1 Newsletter.”
The content’s simple and straightforward. 3 different ideas that he shares to his email subscribers, 2 quotes from industry leaders, and 1 question for the reader to answer.
23. Publish exclusive content to segments your email list.
Segmentation is a must if you’re doing email marketing. This allows you to send content that’s personalized and highly targeted to your subscribers.
Sending exclusive content to segments in your email list also makes your email subscribers feel special, which is what they like.
This email from Econsultancy is a perfect example.
24. Pay homage to your childhood.
When I was growing up, lots of guys in my school were fond of RPG games. So, I can imagine what those guys must have felt when Wendy’s recently launched their Feast of Legends game in October 2019.
More than providing information about their products, the RPG game evokes a sense of nostalgia by tapping into those carefree childhood days. For many, it’s a reason for them to keep coming back and patronize this fast-food chain.
25. Do a Live Q&A
Your subscribers and social media followers are among your best sources of content ideas. So, if you want to create engaging content for them, why not get them to engage with you and help you create the content?
That’s what a live Q&A can do.
One way you can do this is to do a Facebook Live video and then answer the questions typed in by your viewers.
Or you can have your viewers call you and ask their questions, like what Dave Ramsey does in his Youtube show.
Practicing these content marketing ideas can help you stay consistent and reach your goals.
In this guide, you’ve learned 25 different content marketing ideas that have been used by successful brands and industry leaders.
The next time you feel like you’re in a rut, you can go through this guide and pick one that will resonate the most with your customers.
Now, I’d like to hear from you.
What is the one content marketing idea in this list that you’ll start using to reach your marketing goals? Share it in the comments section below.